Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Make an Old Shirt New

A bleach pen... found ours at Tar-jay
Wax paper
A dark shirt

Sunday was sunny, and my children voluntarily cleaned the living room and the kitchen, and I fainted. Then I came to, and thanked them. Their industry was inspiring, and it got me in the laundry room sorting out worn and outgrown clothing... am I meandering to my point? Yes. Yes, I think I am. Sorry. It might be this frackin' cold I picked up. It's making me all meandery and snuffy, and last night I felt absolutely super meh.


Oh, yeah. I found a clean sweatshirt that Max has out grown, and is probably much too big for Maria. I was about to add it to the donate pile when I remembered the artsy-craftsy project I'd been wanting to try for about a year. I even had the supplies on hand, and cleared space to jump in and go for it.

The wax paper is to put between the layers of the sweatshirt. The idea being to protect the back of the shirt in case the bleach seeps through. Protecting surfaces from wayward bleach is an important aspect of this project. One tutorial I read even suggested wearing gloves. I did not wear gloves, but I did put on an apron. Also, I did this outside and on a bleach safe surface.

The bleach pen has two tips, and I used the fine point. I wish it were finer. Remember to shake the pen, and be aware: there will be bubbles and clumps, and every drop will leave its mark. This may not be the ideal project for a perfectionist, or anyone, young or mature, who freaks out about "mistakes."

And now some thoughts about Control. I am not a control freak. (Yes, I am.) I am not selfish, and I do not horde my crafty supplies all for myself, to use on a magical artsy-craftsy day, when all of my sweet skills and marvelous visions will come to life. (I am, and I do.) Okay, so honestly, it's not the easiest thing in the world to be approached by a perky six year old who wants to intercept my artsy-craftsy plans and make them her own, but some six year olds are hard to deny, so I relinquished the chalk and let her draw her pictures, on what is now her custom and personalized sweatshirt.

She drew, and then I traced. The clumps get a bit frustrating, and I think big and simple images is definitely the way to go. I have seen some very sophisticated results, which could be fun to try. I am also thinking that a certain robotics team may want to employ this technique to label and personalize their team jackets... FIRST 2102 Team Paradox... names across the shoulders, gears, details? Could be fun!

Maria's pictures have lightened to a pale-pale pink. Next up we wash it separately and then Ta-Da! Her easy peasy bleach squeezy jacket will be ready to wear!